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Women's Health Research Cluster | February 2020 
About the Women's Health Research Cluster

A Message from Dr. Liisa Galea, Lead of WHRC

In February 2019, the Women’s Health Research Cluster was officially formed with funding from the VPRI office. In one year, I daresay, we accomplished a LOT!  We now have over 130 members, and have established a Women’s Health Seminar Series and Trainee Presentations Series. We had some synergies with other clusters, Gynecological Summit – report to be released soon, as well as tri-cluster research day where our trainees won first, second and third prizes for a trifecta!  We held our first public event lead by co-lead Marina Adshade (Happily Ever After) and a second one will be held on February 29th with Pacific Postpartum. Along with WHRI we have hosted workshops for the trainees on KT and Twitter in January and February. Mary Bryson is establishing a gender-diverse cluster within the Women’s Health Cluster.
One of our priorities was to hold a conference and on May 11-12th we will be hosting the Women’s Brain Health Conference. We are proud to receive funding from MSFHR and CIHR to hold this conference. As well as sponsorship from Women’s Brain Health Imitative and Elsevier to sponsor trainee travel awards.  We have a great list of international speakers lined up so please register here. Despite all our recent progress, our cluster was not renewed for funding. However, we will apply again for funding in November 2020 and remained committed to moving the Cluster forward, with our partners WHRI and Gynecologic Cancer Initiative Cluster. In addition, we are actively seeking support from other sources. However, at the moment we no longer have funding for a coordinator and thus bid a fond farewell to Ama Kyeremeh. She will be continuing in a part-time role for a short while. Trainees of our cluster have recently formed a group to help with activities: Emily Clark, Travis Hodges, Muna Ibrahim Bonnie Lee, Tanvi Puri, Wansu Qiu,  Alex Lukey, Shie Riant, Kate Wahl. Consultant Katherine Moore, will also be pitching in to help run the cluster and our conference. We welcome any volunteers to help us out and please reach out to us via email.  As you may know I am an outspoken advocate for the importance of women’s health, editing a special issue on Women’s Brain Health, vice article, and appearing on CTV news with Genesa Greening, CEO of BC Women’s Foundation. I will continue to speak up for Women’s Health Research whenever I can and with your help we can make a difference! Please join me in thanking Ama for being a wonderful coordinator and wish her luck in her new job at the BCCSU. 

- Dr. Liisa Galea

May 11-12, 2020

Submit your Abstract Here
The conference will feature expert speakers who will address a variety of women’s brain health issues and highlight topics such as hormone therapy, mental and cognitive health, menopause, pregnancy, metabolism, and Traumatic Brain Injury.

See the conference website for program details, registration and abstract submission. 
Abstracts are being accepted for posters, Hot Topics session and Women’s Brain Health Initiative Student Award - due February  20, 2020. 

We are pleased to announce that the following speakers have been confirmed:

Keynote Speaker:

Carol Tavris, Ph.D., a social psychologist and co-author of Estrogen Matters, a book that combats misinformation and provides evidence for the benefits of estrogen at menopause and beyond, even for survivors of breast cancer. 

Special Presentation:

Patricia Tomasi, Journalist & Co-Founder of the Canadian Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative.
Shirley Weir, Founder of MenopauseChicks and author of Mokita: How to navigate perimenopause with confidence and ease.


Farida Sohrabji, Ph.D., Texas A&M University
Liisa Galea, Ph.D., University of British Columbia 
Sandra Davidge, Ph.D., University of Alberta
Neill Epperson, MD, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Jerilynn Prior, MD, University of British Columbia
Emily Jacobs, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara
Gillian Einstein, Ph.D., University of Toronto
Cindy Lee Dennis, Ph.D., University of Toronto
Benicio Frey, MD, MSc, Ph.D., McMaster University
Paul van Donkelaar, Ph.D. and Karen Mason, University of British Columbia, Okanagan
Shau-Ming Wei, MD, (NIH/NIMH).  
Angela Colantonio, Ph.D., University of Toronto
Susan Howlett, Ph.D., Dalhousie University
Kejal Kantarci, M.D., Mayo Clinic
Sharon Ladyman, Ph.D., University of Otago, New Zealand
Julia Sacher, M.D, Ph.D., Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Anne Simard, Heart and Stroke Foundation
Early Bird Registration Rates (available until March 10, 2020)
Women's Health Seminar Series - Dr. Joanne Weinberg
Join us online or in-person on Monday, Febraury 24, 2020! Register Here
Saturday, February 29, 2020: The Women’s Health Research Cluster is co-hosting a roundtable discussion with the Pacific Post Partum Support Society! The workshop will bring together 2SLGBTQ+ parents, researchers, midwives, doulas, mental health service providers, and other stakeholders to exchange ideas, raise awareness, and find points of collaboration to address the perinatal mental health needs of 2SLGBTQ+ families.

Time: Free lunch from 12:00pm-1:00 pm, Workshop | 1:00pm-3:00pm
Location: Kiwassa Neighbourhood House, 2425 Oxford St, Vancouver
To register, email Emily Garner at


Date: Tuesday, February 11, 2020
Time: 12:00pm to 2:00pm 
Location: DMCBH Koerner Conference Centre

Facilitator: Nicole Prestley, Manager, Research + Knowledge Translation at the Women’s Health Research Institute. 

Learning Objectives: 
Understanding the basics of Knowledge Translation
  • Emphasize the importance of KT – in the research context and grant applications
  • Identify KT resources and Research Partnerships

Travel Awards for KT Canada Summer Institute 2020: Applications open 

The next KT Canada Summer Institute (SI) will be held in Ottawa, Ontario, on June 17-19, 2020. 

The theme for the Summer Institute is "Intersectionality and knowledge translation"

The Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (MSFHR) is offering to provide travel funding and registration fees to a combined total of $2,900 per person for up to three (3) BC-based research trainees accepted to attend the 2020 KT Canada Summer Institute. Funding will be on a first-come, first-served basis with proof of acceptance via an email to Gayle Scarrow, MSFHR’s director of Knowledge Translation ( For more details, please visit

WHRI Symposium: Call for Digital Health Posters

The Women’s Health Research Institute (WHRI) is now accepting submissions for the poster session that will take place at the 5th Annual WHRI Symposium on Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at the Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre at UBC.
Posters must be focused on women’s or newborn health research and should reflect the Symposium’s theme of digital health. Posters can be ‘repurposed’ from previous conferences or presentations within the last two years. This call is open to researchers and trainees.

Submissions are due Wednesday, February 19th. Submissions can take the form of an abstract or an image of the poster (if previously presented). The notice of decision will be Monday, February 24th.  
Submission can be sent to 

Read more

Unexpected Gender with Dory Nason

Thursday February 13th, from 12:00pm – 1:30pm, at Xʷθəθiqətəm the Place of Many Trees (Liu Institute, 6476 NW Marine Dr.)

The Collective for Gender+ in Research, is hosting an exciting new Unexpected Gender series of learning sessions looking into unexpected or innovative ways that gender+ is brought into all stages of research process -- from research question formation to knowledge dissemination.

The first session is starting off with a discussion lead by Dr. Dory Nason, from Critical Indigenous Studies.

Women’s Health Research Institute Film Screening
February 21, 2020 from 8:00am-9:00am | Shaughnessy Building, Room D308
Directed by Edmond Kilpatrick and featuring Juno Roche, HIV Made Me Fabulous is a 10-minute film that invites you to explore the physically and emotionally charged experience of living and loving with HIV from a woman’s perspective. Despite advances in biomedicine, stigma and misperceptions about HIV persist, particularly in relation to sex. Through candid storytelling that is accentuated by visual cues and dance, the film provides insight into the anxiety and vulnerability Juno and those like her living with HIV face when they open themselves up to a potential lover, but also their resilience.

Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health
2215 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 2A1



The Women's Health Research Cluster
Tel: 604 8272523

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Women's Health Research Cluster · 2215 Wesbrook Mall · Vancouver, Bc V6T 2A1 · Canada

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